The traditional Queen’s Day celebrations kicked off on Sunday evening with dance events and concerts in the big cities and Utrecht’s street market which traditionally starts on April 29.
Weather forecasters remain optimistic about the prospects for Queen’s Day itself and say people who are outside all day should use sun cream to protect themselves against strong sun’s rays.
The forecast remains 16 Celsius with no wind on coastal areas and up to 20 Celsius inland. ‘The weather is almost perfect,’ a spokesman for Weerplaza.nl told news agency ANP.
On Monday, people hoping to see the queen and the rest of the royals in Rhenen and Veenendaal have been told they may not take collapsible chairs, stools or steps to the route where the family will work. Nor are cool boxes or large bags permitted on the route as a security measure.
The two towns are expecting up to 120,000 people will turn out to great queen Beatrix and have imposed strict security measures. In total, 1,250 police officers have been drafted in, including 350 from other forces.
Alcohol has also been banned during the royal visit. Shops are not allowed to sell alcoholic drinks from Sunday evening until after the royal family have left the locality.
Meanwhile, ANP reports tax officials will be checking out cafes in the 12 biggest cities in the Netherlands to make sure they are not selling beer illegally imported from abroad to avoid alcohol taxes.
In Amsterdam, nearly all the city’s Albert Heijn supermarkets will be closed as part of city council efforts to crack down on alcohol abuse.
April 30 is Koninginnedag (Queen’s Day) and was the birthday of Queen Beatrix’s mother, Juliana. When Beatrix succeeded her mother in 1980, she decided to keep the celebrations on the same day, which is a public holiday.
She also scrapped the formal file-past at Soestdijk palace and introduced ‘meet and greet’ visits instead.
Traditionally, citizens do not need a permit to sell goods on the street on Queen’s Day which is why the streets turn into a giant flea market.
The traditionally happy popular celebration ended in tragedy in 2009 when seven people were killed when a car mowed into a crowd watching the royal parade in Apeldoorn.
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